It’s not just libertarians and those on the right who are concerned about the ‘Militarization of Police”. The Huffington Post has weighed in and they don’t like it either. This week’s experiences in Ferguson Missouri has caused the entire nation to balk at what has been happening to our police. I particularly like this image:
From the Huff Po article:
Veterans on Ferguson
The general consensus here: if this is militarization, it’s the shittiest, least-trained, least professional military in the world, using weapons far beyond what they need, or what the military would use when doing crowd control.”
That’s correct – and right. You don’t make a cop a warrior by giving him equipment. Just like you don’t make someone a musician by giving them a musical instrument. They both require training and discipline – and lots of it. The image above, and many more, show that these officers are untrained and undisciplined. Pointing a loaded gun at someone whom you don’t intend to kill is stupid – bone stupid. And extremely dangerous.
To give a little perspective to just how much equipment has been transferred from the US military to American police forces, the UK Independent tells us that, “Ferguson shooting: US police armed with 93,763 new machine guns”. They include this image:
If Ferguson, Missouri, looks like a war zone, that may be because its police force is armed to the teeth with military equipment. In photographs from this week’s protests, officers can be seen toting assault rifles, wearing gas masks and body armour loaded with extra ammunition magazines, and riding around in mine-resistant armoured personnel carriers.”
They include a link to this New York Times graphic:
It’s frightening on many fronts.
The answer to the problems in Ferguson was not this. It was Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson.